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Public asked to avoid Gardiner Dam spillway at Lake Diefenbaker as water gets drained

Gardiner Dam, at Lake Diefenbaker.
Gardiner Dam, at Lake Diefenbaker. File / Global News

The Water Security Agency (WSA) has issued a safety warning for boaters and the public to avoid the Gardiner Dam spillway at Lake Diefenbaker.

Safety signage and protective buoys are up, with the public being asked to “urgently avoid” the area.

Read more: Saskatchewan moving ahead with $4B irrigation project at Lake Diefenbaker

The SHA is releasing a surplus of water, which will accelerate through the weekend leading to a total outflow of 900 cubic metres per second.

“The high water levels and spillway release often attract the attention of recreational boaters, but there is both a personal and operational safety risk that could occur if boaters ignore safety signage and pass the protective log boom into the inlet channel,” says the WSA.

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“This could potentially trigger a situation a vessel could physically not escape the current and be drawn into the spillway structure.”

Read more: 60,000 litres of wastewater diverted after refinery oil spill: Water Security Agency

The public is also asked to remain on the roadway and to not approach the spillway by going down the embankment or standing along the wing walls.

All recreational boaters and visitors to the area are reminded to take a wide berth of the spillway, especially in the coming days.

Sixty-year-old Rivers Dam at highest level ever
Sixty-year-old Rivers Dam at highest level ever